VERY IMPORTANT! Read every recipe entirely once before beginning to bake!
Make sure you understand all the required techniques, read the working method and any notes given and try to picture in your mind step by step what has to be done. Before you even start scaling you will have to try to get a clear picture in your mind of what has to be done and what kind of steps it will take to accomplish your recipe.
Always read the recipe from top to bottom, a well written recipe will list the ingredients not in alphabetical order or such but in the order they are required. Any gaps in the written recipe will indicate separate work steps.
Understand the yield of the recipe and be comfortable in scaling to the required amount.
If there are any questions or any doubts about any aspects of a given recipe, this is the time to ask, don’t try to accomplish the recipe if you are not 100% sure. Pastry and Bakery work can be very technical and most of the times mistakes can not be rectified, also working with chocolate, nuts, cream, fruits etc is expensive. It is cheaper to ask for advise then to have to start an recipe all over again.
VERY IMPORTANT! Scale precisely and accurately.
Pastry and Bakery work is based on formulas (Recipes) and even a fluctuation or inaccurate scaling of just a few grams or ounces can result in a different Cake or Pastry.
All ingredients in a recipe do have a vital role and in not adding one, contrary to working in the hot kitchen, your baked goods will surely not turn out as they are expected to be.
Before you even start scaling your recipe take into consideration what utensils you will need for the recipe you are doing. Get your baking tray, grease your moulds, sharp your knifes, set your oven temperature etc. Only when you seen that you have all your required tools on stand by – start scaling your recipe.
If you are new to the field and / or if you are working with a recipe which you have never tried before and are not totally comfortable with, scale your required ingredients in separate bowls. Whenever you are comfortable in your kitchen and with recipes, work on your efficiency, scale your ingredients together in groups to minimize an over usage of scaling containers (cutting down on cleaning time and running time). For example if a receipt method asks to ‘ cream your sugar, butter and flavorings together’ feel comfortable enough to scale your sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, lemon etc right away in the to be used mixing bowl. It saves you time and it keeps your work area less clustered and it also cuts down on either your time or the stewarding departments time in cleaning up all your scaling containers.
VERY IMPORTANT! It takes the SAME amount of time to do the recipe wrong, as it does to do it right!
Meaning there are really no shortcuts in Pastry or Bakery, every working method is resulting directly in the success of your baked product. A chocolate needs to be tempered, a bread has to proven a certain time, your butter has to be creamed in a pound cake. Pastry and especially Bakery is based on thousands of years experience and the way we work today is already the most efficient and best way to produce our Cakes, Chocolates, Bread etc.